Cornstarch is one of the culinary ingredients that I have come across that is extremely versatile; having it in your kitchen would be beneficial in many recipes. It may seem like a basic whitish powder, but it helps watery sauces get thicker, makes baked goods tender and chewy, makes omelets fluffy, and many other fried foods crispy and crunchy.
Apart from culinary uses, it also has other industrial uses like making adhesives, textile manufacturing, etc. Cornstarch is a great ingredient, yet it is not the best addition in keto-friendly recipes, which is why this article aims at discussing the other keto-friendly cornstarch substitute that can be used in many recipes, especially fried ones.
Cornstarch Nutrition Facts
What is Cornstarch?
Cornstarch is a whitish starch powder from the crushed endosperm of corn; it is rich in carbohydrates and extremely useful in both culinary and non-culinary.
Cornstarch was invented in 1842 by staff in a wheat starch factory in New Jersey known as Thomas Kingsford. The use of Cornstarch today as a cooking ingredient was not the main intention of Thomas when he made Cornstarch, he planned for it to be used in laundry as starch, but it turned out that Cornstarch was far more useful than industrial purposes.
Cornstarch is easily modifiable and has industrial uses like baby powders, adhesives, bioplastics, etc. It is also used in medical therapy and produces medical products like surgical gloves, condoms, diaphragms, etc.
Cornstarch also carries properties that aid people with glycogen storage disease by enabling the supply of glucose to maintain blood sugar levels.
Cornstarch Uses in Recipes
The good thing about Cornstarch is how it produces great results whichever way you cook it, whether you choose to bake with it, boil it in soups and sauces, or fry with it.
It gives a tender and chewy texture to many baked goods like Cookies, shortbread, etc.
For thickening soups, sauces, custards, and many other liquid-based recipes, Cornstarch is mixed first in cold water and added to the boiling recipe; it becomes transparent and leaves no trace in the recipe, yet it gives a fine thick texture to the meal.
Another great way to use Cornstarch is in fried recipes; chicken is a perfect example. When using Cornstarch, a thin layer of Cornstarch is used to coat the outer layer of chicken which helps in giving it that crispy texture when fried.
Cornstarch is utilized in a lot of recipes, and some of them include:
- Best Hokkien noodle stir-fry
- Corn Flour Halwa Recipe
- Low-Fat Butter Chicken
- Chocolate Cornstarch Pudding
- Sweet and Sour Pork
- Cornstarch Sugar Cookies
- Slow Cooker Yellow Beef Curry
- Easy Cornstarch Bread
- Cornstarch Butter Cookies
- Cheat’s Christmas shortbread
- Cornflour Butter Cake
- Chocolate Chip Cookies With Cornstarch
- Basic Vanilla Pudding
- Creamy chicken pasta
- Biscoitos de Maizena
Cornstarch is made up primarily of corn endosperm, which is rich in starch( a carbohydrate), and nutritious starchy foods provide the body with energy, fiber, vitamins, and minerals which aids digestion, satiety, and energy levels.
However, since Cornstarch contains starch, it is not the best option for people with diabetes or on a keto- diet, so a substitute is important.
There are several alternatives for Cornstarch that are keto-friendly and can perform the roles of Cornstarch in many recipes, including the fried ones.
In this article, we will be discussing some keto-friendly substitutes for Cornstarch when frying.
Almond flour is a fine powder from almonds; it shares many similarities as Cornstarch, especially when used in recipes; it gives the same texture and consistency as Cornstarch but has a less carb content, great for keto diets.
Almond flour contains some vitamins and minerals and has some health benefits like decreasing the risk of cancer cell formation, helping with diabetes and obesity, helping in improving heart health, and providing and improving energy levels.
Almond flour can be used in any recipe that calls for Cornstarch, so when using almond flour for frying, coat, whatever you’re frying in almond flour just like how you do with Cornstarch, and it would still produce the crispy result you want.
This powder is gotten from the Glucomannan dietary fiber found in the root of the konjac plant. It is extremely beneficial in a keto-friendly diet; this powder is rich in fiber and low in calories which helps with weight loss.
It is a good substitute for Cornstarch in many recipes; it is also tasteless and carries many health benefits, such as; aiding digestion, controlling the appetite, controlling cholesterol, reducing inflammation, improving gut health, and managing the immune system.
Just like how you apply Cornstarch to the outer layer of your food when frying, you can also use Glucomannan powder the same way.
It is much lower in calories than Cornstarch and can be used in several recipes requiring Cornstarch. It has a glue-like binding property that works in many liquid-based recipes and produces a crisp frying texture.
Chia Seed Powder
Chia seed powder is a low-carb and keto-friendly alternative for Cornstarch; it is made by grinding chia seeds into a fine powder that can be added in many recipes.
It contains good nutrients that provide some health benefits. Chia seeds can be substituted for Cornstarch in frying recipes using the same method and quantity.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
What’s the difference between corn starch and cornflour?
Corn starch is a white powder made primarily from the endosperm of corn and contains only carbohydrates. In contrast, corn flour is a yellow powder made from the whole corn kernel, and it contains protein, fiber, starch, vitamins, and minerals.
Can I use xanthan gum in place of Cornstarch for frying?
Xanthan gum is a keto-friendly alternative for Cornstarch that can be used in frying, baking, and cooking.
Why is Cornstarch not added directly into a hot liquid-based recipe?
Cornstarch is often made into a slurry because it will create lumps in the recipe if it is added directly.
Cornstarch is a helpful kitchen staple that can be added to different recipes. Still, because of its high carb count, it would not be the best ingredient for certain persons, which is why I have discussed other low-carb, keto-friendly substitutes for it, which can also be used in frying.